Today is September 27 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you hold an unshakeable faith in yourself?” Those who navigate the chaos often have an unshakeable faith in their dreams while realizing that everyone’s starting date is different. Runner Jason Cohen, actor Ann Dowd and artist Alex Katz are three such examples.
Cohen once weighed over 300lbs and thought he was destined for a life of obesity. He then decided to lose over 120lbs and now competes in ultramarathons.
When asked what advice he would give others Cohen said “Believe in yourself and know that the hard work will be worth it. I had always believed I would be overweight for the rest of my life. I put limitations on my potential. Anyone can do what I have done and there is nothing special about me. The only difference between myself and someone else is our starting date.”
Have you been obsessing over a starting date? Are you paralyzed because you feel as though it is too late to start? Are you so consumed by the supposed success of younger people that you have convinced yourself it is too late to do what you want to do?
Award winning actor Ann Dowd was 56 years old when she landed a role in the 2012 movie Compliance that would shift her career. In 2014 she was cast in the HBO series The Leftovers and in 2017, she began playing Aunt Lydia on the Hulu series The Handmaid's Tale.
Through the decades of navigating bit parts and heartbreak Dowd said she “had an unshakable faith that all would work out” and told the audience in one speech to “ Keep your love story alive—and by love story, I mean the love you have for the work that you do—for it is a pure and powerful dynamic, and it will sustain you.”
Do you have an unshakable faith that all will work out? What are you doing to keep your love story – for the work that you do – alive? How often do you reflect upon what sustains you?
Alex Katz is American figurative artist best known for his portraiture and landscapes. In 2019, one of his paintings, Ada and Louise (1987), set a new record for his work at auction selling for over $1 million.
Asked about how he sees his body of work as a whole, Katz says, “You have to realize when I started, I couldn’t draw. I learned how to draw, and I learned modern art, and I learned cubism. I never thought I’d be painting as well as I’m painting now. It was beyond my comprehension. I had no idea I was going to be this good.” Cohen, Dowd and Katz all figured out a way to start despite not knowing how good they were going to be and never looked back. How often can you move forward not knowing how good you are going to be and maintain an unshakeable faith in yourself?
Is the need to be good keeping you from starting? Are you focused on developing yourself or achieving success?